The National, Friday, May 13, 2011
A 57-YEAR old man from Chimbu has been sentenced to 20 years in jail by the Kavieng National Court for killing another man whom he suspected of practising sorcery on his daughter.
Joe Kiag and two others were involved in the unlawful killing of Sam Tabakas Junior in July last year because they suspected him of using sorcery on his daughter, who was the victim’s wife.
The court heard last week that Kiag and his two accomplices continuously attacked the victim with pieces of timber and iron rods, causing his death.
A medical report tendered in court said the victim died from cardio respiratory failure and multiple organ failure.
Presiding judge, Justice Les Gavara-Nanu told Kiag many people in Papua New Guinea had died from sorcery beliefs and those kinds of killings must stop.
He said there was now a wide public outcry on sorcery-related deaths and the court must do its part to address the problem.
He said sorcery played a part in the killings as Kiag had accused the victim of practising sorcery on his daughter’s underwear.
The court took into account aggravating factors that the victim was continuously assaulted with pieces of timber and iron rods despite Tabakas Junior’s pleas for mercy.
Three people offered to help the victim but Kiag and his friends could not be stopped.
Gavera said no one had the right to take away another person’s life and, as a result of their actions, an innocent life had been lost.
He said those who took away a person’s life must be punished and he sentenced Kiag to 20 years in jail with hard labour.
Kiag will serve 18 years, 11 months and three weeks because of the time spent in custody awaiting trial.